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There are two ways to work with AutoCAD drawings, pictures, clip art, and other graphic files in Visio: you can import them to start a new Visio drawing, or you can insert them into an existing Visio drawing.

Import a graphics file to start a new Visio drawing

You can import graphics files of different formats to start a new Visio drawing by using the Open command on the File tab.

The following graphics file formats are supported:

  • AutoCAD Drawing File Format (.dwg, .dxf)

  • Compressed Enhanced Metafile (.emz)

  • Enhanced Metafile (.emf)

  • Graphics Interchange Format (.gif)

  • JPEG File Interchange Format (.jpg)

  • Portable Network Graphics (.png)

  • Scalable Vector Graphics Drawing (.svg, .svgz)

  • Tag Image File Format (.tif, .tiff)

  • Windows Bitmap (.bmp, .dib)

  • Windows Metafile (.wmf)

Note: File formats may vary slightly between language versions. You may not get exactly the same results if you import files created in different language versions.

  1. On the File tab, click Open and then browse to the location of the file that you want to import.

  2. In the Files of type box, click the file format of the file you want to import.

    If you don't see the file format listed, Visio doesn't have a file filter for that format. Try saving the document in a format Visio can open.

  3. Select the file, and then click Open.

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Insert a graphics file into an existing Visio drawing

You can insert AutoCAD drawings, pictures, and clip art into an existing Visio drawing by using commands on the Insert tab.

Insert an AutoCAD drawing

  1. On the Insert tab, click CAD Drawing.

  2. Locate the CAD file and click Open.

  3. To accept the default CAD drawing settings, click OK.

    Note: The default CAD drawing settings are designed to ensure optimal results when you insert a CAD drawing. It is best to avoid adjusting the default settings unless you have a specific aim in mind.

When you insert a drawing in AutoCAD DWG or DXF format, you insert the last saved spatial view of the CAD drawing. A CAD drawing may have been saved in model space or paper space.

  • Model space     is the primary drawing workspace in which CAD drafters create drawings.

  • Paper space     is a workspace that is analogous to a sheet of paper, in which CAD drafters can arrange different views of the drawing.

The following image shows a DWG drawing saved in paper space.

A CAD drawing saved in paper space that shows two views of the same floor plan

The drawing contains two rectangular viewports. A viewport is a window into the three-dimensional CAD drawing. Each viewport can be set to a different scale or angle.

Insert a picture or clip art

  1. On the Insert tab, click Pictures or Online Pictures.

  2. Browse to the location of the file that you want to insert, select the file, and then click Open.

    Tip: You can also open graphics files from the File tab. On the File tab, click Open. Browse to the location of the graphic, and in the Files of type list, click the graphics file format that you want. Locate the file, and click Open. Most files that you import into Visio drawings as graphic images appear as metafiles. However, bitmap files, such as .dib, .bmp, .pcx, and so on, remain bitmaps in the Visio drawing.

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